Articles

Procura in the news. Keep up with what’s happening at Procura with recent stories that featuring Procura and our clients.


Is It Time for Federal Background Check Laws?

July 25, 2016

It’s often surprising to families looking for home health providers that there aren’t any federal laws requiring agencies to conduct background checks on prospective caregivers. 

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Announcing the release of ContinuLink Texas EVV support and functionality

July 20, 2016

We’re happy to announce that we have completed the testing and launch of the functionality and integration to fully support the Texas Medicaid's Electronic Visit Verification (EVV) Mandate.

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How to Create a Culture of Cybersecurity in Your Agency

July 18, 2016

Protecting patient information is of paramount importance to all health care organizations. Patient records include a great deal of data that is attractive to cybercriminals, making it vital that organizations find ways to protect and secure that data while still ensuring it is accessible to those individuals who need it in order to do their jobs. 

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Technical Expert Panel Suggests Changes to Home Health Star Ratings

July 11, 2016

Since the first round of Quality of Patient Star Ratings was released nearly a year ago, followed by the Patient Satisfaction Star ratings, both providers and patients have been unclear about what the ratings actually mean. 

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The Best Places to Grow Old Might Not Be Where You Think

July 04, 2016

When you think of ideal places for retirees, chances are you think of sunny, warm destinations: Florida, Arizona, etc. It’s no surprise then, that in places like Palm Beach County, Florida, the winter population increases by about 10 percent every winter, with most of the seasonal resident retirees who call a northern city home the rest of the year. In Arizona, seasonal residents add more than $1 billion to the economy each year, and more retirees arrive every year.

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Increased Claim Fraud Penalties to Raise the Stakes for Home Health Providers

June 27, 2016

Most home health agencies already know that false claims are costly. Not only do agencies that are caught filing false claims have to pay thousands of dollars in penalties, which often devastates the agency and leaves their clients without necessary services, false claim cases also harm the industry as a whole. Home health is under intense scrutiny by CMS and watchdog groups intent on eliminating fraud and waste, and through moratoriums, audits, and other investigations, home health is feeling the pressure.

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Thank YOU for a Banner Year!

June 23, 2016

My headline says it all – we just finished wrapping up the books and reporting on our fiscal year end (March 31 – we’re on an April 1 fiscal cycle) for our FY2016. It was spectacular and we owe our success to you, our customers, and of course to our amazing teams around the world. 

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The Implications of Self-Directed Care

June 20, 2016

Self-directed care provides clients with greater choice and more control when it comes to choosing a home care provider. However, it is not simply a new care delivery program. It is a shift in the way that we – both providers and clients – think about care delivery. It requires that we move away from the mindset of provider directed care where the focus is on the client’s problems to one where clients are empowered to make decisions about their care.

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How to Get Caregivers More Engaged With Technology

June 20, 2016

There’s been a lot of talk recently about the role of technology in caregiving. From wearable devices that allow providers and family caregivers to monitor patient health, to patient portals that keep the lines of communication open, to the expansion of telemedicine, there is no doubt that technology has become a key part of the delivery of quality health care. 

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Using Social Media to Market Your Home Care Business

June 13, 2016

These days, whenever anyone wants to find out information about anything, they go online. With a few keystrokes and clicks, it’s easy to find information about virtually anything — even home health care. Even families who receive recommendations or referrals for home health from their providers often spend some time online looking for more information and trying to learn as much as they can about their loved one’s condition, the home health agency, and what they can expect going forward. 

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Face-to-Face Requirement for Medicaid Home Health Services Begins July 1

June 06, 2016

Physicians have long understood that many patients are better served being cared for at home, rather than in hospitals, nursing homes, or long-term care facilities. Patients living with chronic diseases, or who are recovering from illness or injury, tend to have better outcomes when they are at home and cared for with the support of family and home health providers — not to mention, the costs of home care are often significantly lower than those of institutional care.

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CONNECT Act Aims to Increase Access to Telemedicine

May 24, 2016

To reduce travel & increase home health services, Congress introduced the Connect Act. Learn how this bill could reduce costs and increase health services.

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Increasing Patient Engagement Through IT

May 23, 2016

It’s no surprise to caregivers that the majority of health care takes place when providers aren’t actually present. It’s remembering to take our medication on time. It’s following our doctors’ recommendations for a healthy lifestyle. It’s making — and keeping — appointments with providers. In short, it’s being involved in your own care, and an active participant in keeping yourself healthy.

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What Minimum Wage Changes Could Mean for Home Health

May 16, 2016

When legislators in New York and California passed new laws calling for a $15 minimum wage, many workers cheered. After all, who doesn’t want to earn more money? And for those skilled workers trying to support families with minimum wage jobs, a higher hourly rate promises some easing of financial pressures

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Bracing for IMPACT: What the IMPACT Act Means for Your Agency Now

May 09, 2016

The Improving Post-Acute Care Transformation Act was passed in 2014 as a means to measure how often certain services are used in post-acute care as compared to the provider’s population, and to improve efficiencies by measuring providers’ spending per Medicare beneficiary. 

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Faults in the Stars? CMS Star Ratings May Confuse, Not Help Patients

May 02, 2016

Imagine you are looking for a home health provider for a loved one. You log on to CMS’s Home Health Compare website, and begin looking at agencies in your area. You notice star ratings for each agency, which is helpful, since you don’t really know how to rate each agency against the others.

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CMS Proposes Pre-Authorization Rule to Help Combat Fraud

April 25, 2016

Home health agencies and industry groups were surprised in early February when CMS proposed another rule change designed to combat fraud and abuse within the home health industry.

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CDC Releases New Public Health Emergency Planning Guide for Home Health Agencies

April 18, 2016

CDC unveiled a home health emergency preparedness planning guide to help agencies in a crisis. Read on to learn more about the proposed guidelines.

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Consumer Assessments of Home Health Now a Part of CMS’ Home Health Compare Website

April 11, 2016

To help people find quality home health care agencies, the CMS added patient satisfaction surveys to their comparison website. Read on to learn more. 

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CMS Continuing to Fight Fraud With Site Visits and Data Analysis

April 04, 2016

Fighting fraud and abuse in home health care continues to be a major priority for CMS. Read on to learn about new initiatives announced in February 2016. 

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How Employee Engagement Can Improve HHCAHPS Results

March 28, 2016

With the recent reveal of the Patient Satisfaction Star Ratings on CMS’s Home Health Compare Website, many agencies are looking at ways to improve their patient satisfaction scores and achieve — or maintain — the coveted 5-star designation.  While the star ratings awarded to agencies only tell part of the story, as Quality of Care star ratings are determined by a separate set of criteria, many patients and referring providers will take patient satisfaction into consideration when selecting a provider.

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Preparing Your Agency for Value-Based Purchasing: The Time Is Now

March 18, 2016

January 1, 2016 marked the beginning of the Home Health Value-Based Purchasing (HHVBP) Model for agencies operating in nine states. Under the new model, agencies in Massachusetts, Maryland, North Carolina, Florida, Washington, Arizona, Iowa, Nebraska, and Tennessee will receive payments based on their performance in several specific quality measurements as compared to other agencies of similar size and patient demographics.

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Is Home Health Care in Crisis? Some Say Yes

March 11, 2016

Headlines might be appearing everywhere from the major news networks to small-town newspapers, but if there is one thing that any headline about home health has in common it’s that there is a good chance it includes the word “crisis.” Whether talking about the potential effects of new legislation, the ever-increasing demand for home health services and the lack of qualified individuals to fill home health jobs, or cases of fraud, the result is the same: The news for the home health care industry does not look good.

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10 Tips: Choosing the Right Home Health Software Solution

March 04, 2016

Selecting the right home health software for your agency is an important, but somewhat daunting task. With all the complexities in today’s healthcare world, you need to ensure you have the right software solution to maximize your success. Our experts have put together the top 10 items you need to think about when investing in a home health software solution:

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Study Confirms Home Health Care Reduces Readmissions

March 01, 2016

It’s a fact that home health care providers have always known: Providing health care services to patients at home, in comfortable and familiar surroundings, helps them recover faster and have better long-term outcomes. Several major studies have supported this idea, and in December, yet another study proved conclusively that home health care is a vital part of the care continuum, effectively reducing hospital readmissions for patients with chronic conditions.

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New Survey: Seniors More Reluctant Than Ever Before to Move Into Nursing Homes

February 26, 2016

Everyone has a mental image of what it’s like to live in a nursing home — and those images aren’t always positive ones. While not every nursing home is created equal, the majority provide excellent care for their patients. Still, according to a recent poll, most seniors reject the idea of moving into a nursing home when they are no longer capable of living on their own in their own homes. In a poll of more than 1,200 seniors conducted by Harris Polls, 66 percent of the respondents reported that they would “rather die” than move into a nursing facility when they get older.

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Can Home Health Care Really Go Paperless? Some Say Yes

February 19, 2016

If we were ask any home health agency manager to list the greatest challenges of their job, chances are we would hear “paperwork” over and over again. As such a highly regulated industry that relies heavily on documentation, it’s easy for many agency owners and managers to feel as if most of their days are spent managing reams of paperwork.

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Push for Telemedicine Coverage Could Change Face of Home Health

January 15, 2016

As the health care industry shifts toward a value-based payment model, industry leaders are looking for ways to improve outcomes while keeping costs contained. One such initiative that is gaining significant traction on both the state and federal levels is telemedicine.

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VON Canada - Health Starts at Home

November 13, 2015

From newborns to palliative care, rejuvenated non-profit takes the lead in community healthcare.

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Better communication results in improved care in the community

October 22, 2014

After travelling around this year to various conferences, I have come to some conclusions about ‘healthy data inputs’.

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Part One – Success with community care mobility solutions – enhancing delivery of care

July 11, 2014

I have been writing about the advantages of implementing mobile technology in the community care setting since 2009. With proven positive outcomes for care and safety it amazes me that organizations are still struggling with setting this as a priority.

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Here’s how increased data will help achieve healthcare’s Triple Aim

July 08, 2014

From my research and understanding, Population Health Management can be defined as broadly as a method of lowering the cost of care though early intervention, utilizing programs focused on the individual’s responsibility to make the right choices in managing their own health, and health monitoring and analyzing of health data analytics. Population Health Management applies a patient-centric method to improving overall health outcomes at a lower cost, without impacting the quality of healthcare by addressing health issues before they become higher-cost critical care situations.

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How smartphones can help you keep your healthy 2014 resolutions

May 14, 2014

It seems that every year we start with the best intentions to stay fit, eat healthier and maintain healthy life style choices throughout the year. According to the University of Scranton, Journal of Clinical Psychology, losing weight and getting fit both were in the top five New Year resolutions (January 1, 2013). But how long will our goals to a healthier life last? The same study stated that 45% of Americans made New Year resolutions, however only 46% actually maintained these resolutions past six months.

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Patient engagement through technology is leading to better outcomes

May 13, 2014

I generally don’t like to use sports analogies, but for the sake of this discussion, let’s use one.

Imagine the overall management of your own healthcare as if it was managing a professional sports team. Who would be your number one draft pick?

In this scenario you, the patient, are your own number one choice. You are the franchise player and the key driver for your own life. You are a driving force to a speedy recovery because when you have an ailment, the person that it affects the greatest is you. It is your body and you should have the strongest voice in the management of your own care.

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The Advantages of Mobile Technology at the Bedside

December 17, 2013

The use of mobile applications in the hospice setting are constantly evolving, almost as fast as the ubiquitous apps that are downloaded to iPads or iPhones every hour of every day.

This rapid evolution is due, in large part, to the realization that mobile applications can help staff improve on the ways they deliver end-of-life care. Whether it’s a hospice aide performing the simplest of tasks or a nurse changing the care plan based on a patient’s latest vital signs, using mobile technology at the point of care allows staff to document and share information among the entire hospice team so everyone is up-to-date and onboard about the patient and family’s current status and needs. And this is in addition to the many operational efficiencies that can be realized, such as eliminating manual and paper- based processes and ultimately reducing errors and production time.

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Maximize the Impact of mHealth Technologies and EHR Platforms

November 22, 2013

Mobile health technology transcends the boundaries and delivery limitations of the health care system by filling the gaps in demanding health care services. With a growing aging population and overstrained health care resources, we as community care leaders need to face the reality of the coming years. Innovative thinking that can leverage mHealth technology will transform the way home health and hospice services will be delivered.

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Pediatrics: A Glimpse into the Future of Home Healthcare?

November 20, 2013

Historically, a Pediatrics program to Homecare was much like Kolkata to Mother Theresa:  a labor of love and a vow of poverty. In any industry, change always generates the need for new businesses, which means new opportunities. As healthcare changes, pediatrics is emerging as a business option and may offer a glimpse into the future of Homecare.

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Social Media in Community Care – Why we need it to improve care delivery

November 20, 2013

The internet has progressed beyond just being a powerful tool; it has become an extension of who we are and today is intertwined with our daily lives. We use it for work, for research, and for enjoyment. Chances are while you are watching television, that your phone, laptop or tablet is not too far away. In fact, you may in fact now be reading this article online or have downloaded it from the internet. The internet is information, and social media has bound us to our immediate need to know what is occurring in the world around us.

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Patient Centered Care: A Call to Evolve Healthcare

November 20, 2013

The days of business as usual are quickly coming to an end for health care, including home healthcare, private duty and hospice.

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Engaging and Empowering Patients for Better Health Outcomes

November 20, 2013

There have been numerous articles that confirm that persons with chronic conditions who are actively involved in their own care and well being will regain their health more quickly than those who are not. Many senior citizens receiving home care live each day as it comes, letting the "professionals" make executive decisions for them and not participating in their own well being.

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Social Media Can Help Home Healthcare and Hospice Organizations

November 20, 2013

Since the inception of social media, access to global information from news sources and from family and friends has become pervasive and instantaneous. Facebook has become the #1 social media application in the world, followed closely by Google + and Twitter. Over 400 million people a day log into their Facebook account to see what is happening with people in their personal network.

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Mobile Applications: Long List of Benefits to Home Healthcare Agencies

November 20, 2013

Mobile technology at the point of care simplifies communication to field staff and leads to better patient outcomes and overall agency results. Mobile applications provide real-time schedule automation, care plans, time and attendance, GPS location information, and more. This month, I explore these features and benefits and more.  

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Smart Devices A Distraction for Healthcare Professionals? I Want A Second Opinion!

November 20, 2013

With the rise of mHealth -- mobile devices used both by patients and their physicians and nurses -- competing articles have been appearing with some regularity arguing whether such devices are distractions to physicians and nurses or a gateway to timely information, more accurate diagnosis, and improved treatment. I did not know on which side of this argument I would stand until I recently spent some time inside the healthcare system after my annual physical.

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Containing the Costs of Delivering Home Care & Hospice with Technology

November 20, 2013

In this third installment of our series, we will:

  • Explore technology opportunities from both a healthcare and cost-savings point of view
  • Point out where each makes sense for a typical home care or hospice agency
  • Look at ways to save time and money by providing the home care worker with with improved automation processes
  • See a few environmental solutions, gained by eliminating the paper that has become unnecessary in today’s evolving technological world.
  • Examine electronic health records that support back office automation processes, and
  • Consider paperless point of care solutions that help reduce costs without compromising the quality of care provided.

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Mobile Applications for Home Care Agencies: Features and Benefits

November 20, 2013

In the second of my HCTR series on wireless technologies, I focus on mobile technology at the point of care. These systems simplify communication to field staff and lead to better patient outcomes and agency results. Mobile applications provide real time automation of schedules, care plans, time and attendance, GPS (Global Positioning System) and location information. Let's take a closer look at these and other features.

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Contain Costs with Interactive Voice Response at the Point of Care

November 20, 2013

Home care agencies and hospices have been struggling to contain the cost of delivering care without compromising the quality of the care delivered. One solution often overlooked is both inexpensive and easy to use.

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As the incidence of chronic disease grows, mHealth makes sense

May 06, 2013

With a growing population of elderly and infirm people in a time of overstrained healthcare resources, we as community-care leaders need to face the reality of the coming years. Innovative thinking that can leverage mHealth technology will transform the way home health and hospice services will be delivered.

read more »


How to assess the value of mobile technologies in community home care

May 06, 2013

Over the past few years, home care and hospice organizations have heard the buzz that mobile devices and their pointof-care (POC) applications are the next big thing in client care. I’m here to tell you that it’s not just buzz, it is reality. At conferences across North America this year, mobile POC technology has been at the forefront. I have heard that, “Technology is a prerequisite of care delivery for accuracy and accountability as well as for reporting”.

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The Advantages of Mobile Technology at the Bedside

April 30, 2013

The use of mobile applications in the hospice setting are constantly evolving, almost as fast as the ubiquitous apps that are downloaded to iPads or iPhones every hour of every day.

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It’s Not Big Brother

February 13, 2013

Fear, uncertainty and doubt. That’s what goes through the heads of field staff when a community care organisation begins the review and eventually the implementation of a mobile technology care management system. Fear of change. No one likes the unknown. It’s uncomfortable. Fear of ‘Big Brother’
watching over their day-to-day work environments. Fear that the organisation does not trust them.

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Electronic Solutions for Home Care that Really Make a Difference

January 14, 2013

There are many different types of technology being used today in the home care market place. From smartphones, to tablets, to laptops, these evolving technology platforms and applications are growing, faster than ever in today’s world. Anytime technology can be used to eliminate paper and manual processing, it will reduce errors and save time dealing with diagnosis and care plan tasks.

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Automation at the point of care for in-home patient care

September 05, 2012

Hospitals, doctors, home care and hospice agencies have been struggling with ways to contain costs of delivering home healthcare without compromising the care delivered to the patient. I will explore two quick and easy to use applications and provide examples of how to apply the technology within a home care agency to reduce the costs of delivering care.  By using these simple automation technologies, agencies can provide a better analysis of current cost data, increase administrative and field staff productivity, reduce errors in care via unnecessary treatments, as well as eliminate potential timesheet fraud. This first article will cover Integrated Voice Response technology and how it works for home care. In May 2012, part two of this article will cover using mobile phones with GPS technology at the point of care.

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Delivering in-home patient care using mobile solutions

September 05, 2012

In March this year I focused on telephony or IVR (Integrated Voice Response) technology to increase accountability of field staff in home care. Telephony allows an agency to gain better data for time and attendance purposes as well as care plan deliverables during a visit.

This month I am focusing on mobile technology at the point of care, which provides real time automation of schedules, care plans, time and attendance, GPS (Global Positioning System) location information, and a many other benefits to a home care agency.
Mobile

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Containing the costs of delivering community care with technology

September 05, 2012

As we all know, Home Care and Hospice organizations are struggling with ways to contain costs of delivering healthcare, without compromising the quality of care delivered to the patient. In this article I will explore technology opportunities on both a health and a cost savings front, and point out where these make sense for an organization. I will demonstrate ways to save time and money with better automation processes for the home care provider. Along the way we will even find some environmental fixes, gained by eliminating the paper that has become unnecessary in today’s evolving technological world. Electronic health records to support back office automation processes and paperless point of care solutions will help reduce spending without compromising the quality of care provided.

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Links among hospitals, community care and nurses help resolve ALC woes

September 01, 2011

Once you fought your way through the fog of presenters’ PowerPoints, three-syllable words and unexplained acronyms at the annual conference of the Ontario Association of Community Care Access Centres (OACCAC), phew, in Toronto, one thing did come clear. Forging firmer, faster links between acute, community, and home care providers in Ontario has become a serious, collaborative business.

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IHT speaks with Mr. Warren Brown, President, Procura

August 31, 2011

Hello, my name is Warren Brown. As President of Procura, I am responsible for the vision, strategies and management practices of the company. We have a team of dynamic, dedicated professionals who manage the ongoing enhancement of our products and services, implementation and training and support for clients and corporate growth through business development and acquisitions. Their experience in the sector and a culture of client service are the key to our success.

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VON Transforms it’s Technology and Working Methods with LIFE

March 01, 2011

In January 2009, the Victorian Order of Nurses Canada (VON) entered into a $10 million business transformation partnership with IBM. Nicknamed LIFE (Leveraging Information, Forging Excellence), this two-year project aimed to improve the quality of information and the way it gets used.

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Remote monitoring of Nova Scotia heart patients

October 01, 2010

The 113-year-old Victorian Order of Nurses is finding new ways to solve the problems of the 21st century. In particular, it is embracing innovative technologies like telehealth to provide care to the steadily growing ranks of the sick and infirm in Canada.

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Electronic Medication Management

May 01, 2010

IT:informer believes that an understanding of the subject - Electronic Medication Management (EMM), is extremely important and needs as much shared industry dialogue as possible to ensure that the right environment is created for the adoption of EMM.

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Wireless solutions improve efficiency of home care providers

March 01, 2010

While electronic systems hold the tantalizing promise of a paperless workplace, health-care providers continue to fight old-fashioned paper blizzards and the problems that surround them. A desire to dig out from under just such a whiteout prompted the Greater Vancouver Community Service Society to seek a better way.

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Best Route increases capacity and reduces costs for home care sector

October 01, 2009

Home care agencies typically have hundreds – even thousands – of nurses and workers on the road visiting clients. Driving back and forth on these visits is costly and time-consuming, but it must be done – after all, clients rely on home-care personnel for help.

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Community centres embrace new care information system

September 01, 2009

A new care information system is revolutionising the way Blue Care manages information for clients and residents.

After more than two years of planning, the Blue Care Care Information System (CIS) Project was officially launched in March on the eve of its first rollout.

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